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    Manufacture Success: Tips on How to Get to Net Zero Emissions

    Being able to reach net zero emissions is something many companies in the United States want to accomplish. However, the route to get there can seem daunting and nearly impossible to accomplish. 

    This doesn’t have to be the case. After all, the manufacturing industry has long embraced strategies aimed at increasing sustainability. Indeed, because of the significant role the manufacturing sector plays in the supply chain—and thus the entire country’s economy—solutions were developed for environmental issues such as reducing waste, increasing resource efficiency, and addressing the role of circularity.

    Emissions Reductions for the Manufacturing Industry

    The manufacturing industry itself is reportedly responsible for almost 25 percent of the direct carbon emissions in the United States. Greenhouse gases, and the global warming that was spurred by them, started with the industrial revolution, which was led largely by the manufacturing industry. Greenhouse gas emissions are nearly always the result of human influence—either directly or indirectly. 

    Three Ways Manufacturers Can Reach Net Zero Emissions

    It’s tempting for companies to look for short-term solutions in an effort to reach net zero emissions. Some examples of what this might look like are going green within one aspect of their business, such as using renewables to source electricity, or diverting investments from companies that emit carbon at high rates like those that mine minerals or drill oil. 

    RELATED: Green Building Product Trends

    While this approach can be a good starting point, a far-reaching strategy is needed to make lasting changes. 

    1. Address the Root Causes

    Big emissions are often the ones that get the most attention. However, they don’t tend to be the most effective place to start. Instead, look deeper for the root causes and aim solutions at those. For example, choose a delivery company that reduces emissions by utilizing routing optimization techniques, fleet electrification, and other strategies that benefit all its customers. 

    2. Rethink Diverting Funds From Companies With a High Carbon Footprint

    It can be tempting for manufacturing companies who are aiming for net zero emissions to divert their funds from businesses that have a high carbon footprint. However, it’s more effective and long-reaching to continue to invest in these companies while incentivizing the reduction of greenhouse gases. Require such businesses to develop a clear route to change to continue receiving money instead. 

    3. Look at the Entire Value Chain

    The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol categorized greenhouse gas emissions into one of three groups. Scope 1 includes those emissions a business can control themselves, such as company vehicles or fuel combustion. 

    Scope 2 consists of indirect emissions. These include emissions that come from services such as heat, electricity, and cooling that are purchased by a company. 

    Scope 3 encompasses all the other indirect emissions that could happen within the value chain. This covers business travel, investments, waste disposal, and more. 

    Aim to take action that is focused on scope 3 emissions. This is the only way the manufacturing sector will be able to reach net zero emissions. 

    RELATED: How Sustainability Plays a Role in the Future of Building Materials

    Wrap Up: Achieving Net Zero Emissions

    By implementing ethical and sustainable methods of achieving net zero emissions, the manufacturing industry can transform itself once again. Successfully implementing these methods stand to create an effect that ripples into other industries, virtually eliminating the impact on the environment.


    What is net zero emissions?

    Net zero emissions refer to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, resulting in no net increase in emissions.

    Why is reaching net zero emissions important for companies in the United States?

    Reaching net zero emissions is crucial for companies to mitigate climate change and reduce their environmental impact, which is increasingly important for sustainability and competitiveness.

    How can the manufacturing industry contribute to reducing emissions?

    The manufacturing industry can reduce emissions by implementing strategies like waste reduction, resource efficiency, and circularity practices.

    What percentage of direct carbon emissions in the United States is attributed to the manufacturing industry?

    The manufacturing industry is reportedly responsible for almost 25 percent of the direct carbon emissions in the United States.

    What are some short-term solutions companies may consider to reach net zero emissions?

    Short-term solutions may include using renewables for electricity or divesting from high-carbon-emitting businesses.

    Why is addressing root causes more effective than tackling big emissions directly?

    Addressing root causes is more effective because it targets the source of emissions and promotes sustainable change, such as optimizing delivery routes and fleet electrification.

    About The Author

    Elton Mayfield

    Elton's career spans media, production, digital and building industry expertise. His diverse experience makes him nimble, innovative, and curious – always pushing the envelope to create extraordinary work that delivers real results for our clients.

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